While other utes aim to compete in the same ‘super ute’ space, it has become apparent that no-one else has come close enough to truly challenge the Ford Ranger Raptor for its epic bandwidth of on-road comfort and off-road ability.
That it manages to feel almost luxurious to drive after spending time behind the wheel of the other two finalists demonstrates what an engineering feat this is.
However, for all its merit, the Ford Ranger Raptor is not perfect. At about $85,000 by the time it’s in the traffic, it is priced at the top end of the scale.
As we’ve reported before, the twin-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel could do with more urge, and the 10-speed automatic can be a bit fussy.
But these traits aside, the Ford Ranger Raptor is, quite frankly, in a class of its own.
Drive Car of the Year judge Rob Margeit said: “The Raptor is the one you want in this segment. It feels like a class above. You have to spend a bit more money, but you get a lot more vehicle. If we are here to award excellence, the Ford Ranger Raptor is it”.
Off-road expert Sam Purcell said the Ford Ranger Raptor is superior off-road in every regard (thanks to suspension, tyre size, and sophisticated traction control) and better on-road. “It’s the best all-rounder here, and happens to be the best off-road to boot.”
With a new Ford Ranger Raptor around the corner – with a more powerful twin-turbo V6 petrol engine – the future is looking bright for this flagship model. We are curious to see how its rivals will respond.